Wednesday, April 9, 2014

When Winning Might Be Losing

Charlie Madigan's Screaming Baby Faux News Blog:

Congress, Is Winning Worth It?

Did you ever have a moment in a conversation where something so counterintuitive pops up you just can't get it out of your head? I had one of those with my friend Dennis the other night. We talk a lot when he is around, but he is a musician and spends a lot of time on the road, so what we get is compressed, fast conversations about big things that kind of leave you feeling, WHAT? We have been talking about politics for the better part of 20 years. He is well read, clearly opinionated but not at all bone headed about it like some people.
Testifying like a Girl Scout before Congress

So we're talking about someone I haven't much thought about just yet, Hillary Clinton,  and we moved into one of those non-sequiturs that just seems to need to fit into the flow. Dennis said something about the Republicans and if they took the Senate and I had a dark moment and then thought, "Sure, why not?" Sometimes winning may not be winning in the traditional sense. In fact, this might be perfect for folks who are Democratically minded.


You have to go visit, my most favorite aggregator of all polling stuff, to understand why. Should the Republicans pick up the seats necessary to take control of the U.S. Senate in the fall and retain control of the U.S. House they will then be in full control of one part of government just about everyone loves to hate! I have the numbers to prove it. Go back to 1998 or so and look at approval ratings and you will note that just about as many people despise the institution as like it, to put it somewhat hyperbolically. It's 40 to 40 with the rest in the "Duh!" zone.

As of late March, here's how those numbers looked:

"Congress makes me feel like a happy puppy"....18 percent
"Eat flop pies and die............................................76 percent
"Duh!".....................................................................6 percent
                 Note: Categories completely fabricated

And that's not all. The Republicans are by some measure the most disliked of the political parties, perhaps because no one questions anymore how people feel about Whigs or Know Nothings and the like. Just look at these numbers:

"Oooo Republicans. I could just hug them".......18 percent
"Oooo Democrats. They make me so hot".........30 percent
                  Note: Categories completely fabricated

Okay, so I made up the descriptions. The numbers are basically real, if not the sentiment. It's not so good to be a Republican unless you are in a room full of Republicans. Same holds for the Democrats, but in a little more comfy way. When you take them out of their rooms and stick them in the middle of society, people start throwing things, but less things at Democrats than Republicans.

So, where's the great benefit in winning control over all of that if you are a Republican? The House has spent the past six years struggling desperately not to give President Obama anything at all, which may not be so much about his lack of "play along skills" as it is about the bitterness of a party that is still upset about having its butt kicked by a community organizer from Kenya, for chrissake!

Where did it get them? They are having a bladder battle over who is more authentic. They can't get through ten sentences without having much of the rest of the country sit up and say, "Said WHA?" The only thing that keeps the nation from making "obstructionist" their middle name is that people don't spell well. And they are always, always, always bitching about something. If it's not health care its taxes or something else.

Not a happy picture, I think. So, let them win.

Yes, that means some Democrats are going to lose. Just go off somewhere and collect money for the coming conflict, which is really all about 2016, not 2014.

Now, finally, we get to the thought.

Because they could dent a steel ball with a rubber hammer, the Republicans in control of the House and the Senate will just make things all that much worse. They will try and fail to repeal Obamacare, a move the President will VETO, but that will just make all of those moms and dads whose kids are now covered, all those unfortunate people with "preexisting conditions" and a host of others who are now covered, hate them all the more.

They can blabber all they want about being tough on Russia (someone is bound to say Communism never really died. My bet would be someone from the southwest.) There will be a push to do something about more Jesus-ey things in public spaces, all the ridiculous things the party has tried in the past couple of decades.

Then it will be time to elect a president. People will be running AWAY from the Republican Party as quickly as they can. They will have a bunch of primaries that draw all the strangest characters out of their gated communities. They won't be able to settle on anything even though they tweak the primary process to make it more fleet and get it out of the hands of the people as quickly as they can.

Then along comes Hillary, smart and experienced and a little dented up but then who isn't? Maybe Sarah Palin will make more noise to try to counter Ms. Clinton. But that will just make her seem even more like a shrill, nutty quitter from Alaska.

The Democrats will be rolling in money, just as the Republicans will be rolling in money. But somehow, the Republicans always make that process seem a tad perverse. It may well be as evil an addiction for the Democrats, but they pull it off better.

Thank God Dennis had to go to Europe. I can't imagine where this would have gone next.

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